Chemotherapy intravenously in children with cancer at home, the nurse practitioner makes it possible!
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Currently the entire treatment of a child with cancer is carried out in a specialized hospital. It would be ideal to conduct part of the treatment at home. This can only be done with adequately trained personnel. In the Netherlands, specialized pediatric oncology home care nurse practitioners have been trained to deliver this kind of care. Therefore, a pilot study was conducted to administer intravenous chemotherapy at home.
This study aimed to safely administer chemotherapy intravenously (iv) at home by specialized nurse practitioners and aimed to increase the quality of life (QOL) of the child and decrease the social burden in families with a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
The pilot study was performed by well-trained home care nurse practitioners. Low-dose methotrexate iv and low-dose cytarabine iv were administered to 11 included children with ALL in their home environment.
QOL increased whereas social burden decreased for patients and parents. Chemotherapy administration in the home environment was safe with the help of well-trained nurse practitioners.
It is feasible to administer intravenous chemotherapy at home in a safe and efficient way. The role of the specialized pediatric oncology nurse practitioner is an essential one.
KeywordsChildren Cancer Homecare Chemotherapy Nurse practitioner
The authors would like to thank Mediq Tefa, Emma kinderziekenhuis of the University Medical Center Amsterdam, and Kinderthuiszorg for making this pilot possible, and Prof. Dr. Mr. A.E.E.Verhagen of the University Medical Center Groningen for critically reviewing this manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in studies involving the participants (e.g., children and their parents) were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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